The COVID-19 Vaccine: What We Know

The+COVID-19+Vaccine%3A+What+We+Know

Kendall Dexter, Staff Writer

Throughout the majority of 2020 up until now, the world has been waiting for some sort of vaccine to annihilate COVID-19. Now, after living in a pandemic for almost a year, vaccines are starting to be distributed, and people are noticeably becoming more eager to get back to their pre-pandemic lives. Many people are constantly refreshing their browsers in an attempt to book appointments to get a vaccine, but despite the number of people who desperately want and need vaccines, it is an ongoing debate of whether this vaccine is truly safe in the long run and if politics had anything to do with its release.

To start, here is what we know: the COVID-19 vaccine typically comes in two doses, but the Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine is single-dose. The others, Pfizer-BioNTEch and Moderna, are two doses. The CDC explains that only two weeks after receiving the second dose of these vaccines will a person be fully protected. As for side effects, after receiving any of the vaccines, a person may experience things such as pain, redness, and swelling in the arm where the vaccine was given, and, in general, tiredness, muscle pain, fever, headache, chills, and nausea. 

Next, here are some essential things to keep in mind when considering the COVID-19 vaccines: none of the vaccines that are currently being developed in the United States contain the virus that causes COVID-19. Therefore, the vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19. Additionally, the CDC explains that “these vaccines have undergone the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history.” With all of that being said, things like how long protection from a COVID-19 vaccine lasts, how well the vaccine prevents people from spreading the virus, and how many people need to be vaccinated before most people are considered to be protected, are still unknown. Furthermore, despite the distribution of vaccines, people still need to take precautions, wear masks, and continue to combat the virus as we have been for the past year. For more information regarding COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccinations, be sure to visit cdc.gov. 

Now, onto the politics of it all. The first argument regarding the vaccine is whether or not it is safe. The people who believe it is safe are listening to the experts and following their lead in this situation. They agree that, like explained earlier and on the CDC’s website, the vaccine has been tested many times and has undergone safety monitoring to ensure that the vaccine is safe and won’t make people sick with COVID-19, so why not get it? Here is where the other side of the argument comes in. The people on the opposite side of the discussion might argue that we do not yet know all of the long-term effects of these vaccines. Although there is not any evidence to prove that there are any negative impacts of the vaccines, it has not been long since people have started receiving the vaccine. Both of these arguments are valid. I think that an argument can be made for both getting and not getting the vaccine, but what do you think?